It's no secret that I don't like babies. Women have the right to contraception, so I don't understand why I still have to tolerate people's offspring. I treasure the right to not breed. I live for it. I don't understand why anyone would willingly give it up.
Everywhere around here is swamped with bellies and babies. You can't sit down on a train any more because every dern seat is occupied by a big lady with a "Baby on board!" button pinned to her collar. Worse, some amazing oversight has led to prams being sold on the UK market that don't fit in bus aisles, so hours of commute time are wasted while people heave and cram the stupid things, which are 5 to 6 times larger than the creatures they're intended to contain, over toes and through handbags to the middle of the bus before the driver can continue. Then these same women glance around for the healthiest seated person near their tank and glare at them until they stand up, because dammit they have a right to sit and they'll use it. Even though they quite clearly put their offspring in a box on wheels so they wouldn't have to carry it, undermining that whole "oh my aching feet" argument. I will hop straight up for a Baby Bjorn or a kid in a sling, but you with your screaming urban assault vehicle loaded down with crisp packets and empty soda bottles, cramming at least 5 adults out of your way? No ma'am. You can stand.
The really irksome thing about these parents is that so many of them view themselves as martyrs. You overhear (well, hear--they love shouting this kind of tripe in public transit) them whining, "Oh me, the baby keeps me up all night screaming, I have no time for myself, I have to take it and all of its accessories with me everywhere, I haven't had an orgasm in months--and it's all "take take take" but never gives..." Lady, you had a choice. You clearly chose poorly, but you had the option to prevent this. Do not try to convince me that you didn't realize that babies were stressful, or that they can't understand you, or that they don't recognize that you have needs too. You were a kid once, and unless you met with an unfortunate cranial injury between then and now you remember what a shit you were to your parents. You are not a victim.
In this country, every aspect of kid-avoidance is free. All you have to do is bite the bullet and tell a doctor that chilluns ain't what you're after. I don't know if I approve of the "2 doctors must agree that it's better for you mentally and physically to terminate a pregnancy" thing--generally I think the patient knows far better than the impersonal, faceless NHS machine whether or not they should go through with it.
Because seriously, it's always better for the patient to not go through with it. These days it takes around 22 years to raise a child. 22 years is a long time. A long ass-time. In 22 years I'll be 47. I can't imagine spending all of my 30's and most of my 40's re-living the horrors of growth, puberty, academia, socialization, childhood illnesses, binge-drinking, pseudo-intellectualism, and the cold hatred of adolescence. And that's not even including the emotional and financial drain they cause when they're not even around. Food, school supplies, toys, clothes, summer camp, computers, university fees, bail, flights to visit foreign boyfriends, and financing their first ten years "on their own"--it's a huge expense and a ridiculous mental drain as you constantly wonder if you're doing what's best for them... Of course it's better for the patient. She would be far better off preventing birth and focusing on a lifestyle that benefits Her in some way--An interesting and engaging career that not only matters to her, but can help her save for retirement; a joyful and indiscreet sex life with someone who loves her; sleep and responsibility on her terms; geographic mobility and temporal flexibility...children ruin all of that. If they don't, you've either got enough money for a nanny or you suck at parenting.
The only reason I can think of as to why people intentionally have children is to punish themselves for what they did to their own parents. If that's the case, I guess I feel no urge to start a family because I'm an arrogant shit who believes I don't have to do my time.
I'm regularly presented with this rather pathetic spectacle--on one side of the train is a happy, glowing, woman idly rubbing her bump, and right across from her are two exhausted, embarrassed, angry new parents violently jerking their pram back and forth in a misguided attempt to quiet their thousand-decibel spawn, while passengers two cars away try to staunch the bleeding from their ears.
Is this lady oblivious to the suffering these people have brought to everyone else, or did she knowingly jump onto the "torture-commuters" bandwagon? Are pregnant people and new parents magically baby-deaf? Everyone else in the train wishes that these people would have exercised their right to not conceive.
Contraception is sadly under-encouraged among married couples. Just 'cos you're hitched, 27, and financially stable doesn't mean you ought to be parents. I want to start a protest and wave signs like "It's Screaming. Pick It Up." "No Parents But Good Parents." and "22 years feels like eternity? CONDOMS."
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
my first harvest. MMMM tasty! We enjoyed a handful of them for dinner and they were just right--crisp and mud-scented before the pot, soft and flavourful on the plate. A few were afflicted with "scab" but I looked it up and its just a cosmetic thing from the soil going dry on occasion and does not affect their flavour or safety. So I've learned--keep 'em wet, silly girl, or they go a bit ugly.
My courgettes and spinach have officially failed. Well, a courgette plant is essentially alive, and I keep watering it, but I've given up hope. I composted the spinach after I realized it was more bolt than plant. I should take a class to learn the difference between "useful leafy plant" and "it is now a weed" and how to prevent this.
In other news, I've begun a course of Accutane, and am drying out like a dishcloth. I've also undertaken another lighting gig for classmates which should get started tomorrow at the People Show Studio, and have submitted proposals to several festivals and events for my own piece.